This Land Is No Longer Your Land

Source:  Bloomberg

The fight over preserving public land during the Trump era is taking a strange, angry twist in Montana’s Crazy Mountains. Both sides are armed.

In Park County, Mont., North Fork of Horse Creek Road with a “No Forest Service Access” sign.  Photographer: THOMAS PRIOR FOR BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK

by Monte Reel, Bloomberg

Brad Wilson is following a forest trail and scanning the dusky spaces between the fir trees for signs of movement. The black handle of a .44 Magnum juts prominently from his pack. If he stumbles on a startled bear at close range, the retired sheriff’s deputy wants to know the gun is within quick reach, in case something stronger than pepper spray is needed. Wilson isn’t the type who likes to take chances; he’s the type who plans ahead.

Before setting foot on this path, he unfolded a huge U.S. Forest Service map and reviewed the route, Trail 267. He put a finger at the trailhead, which was next to a ranger’s station, then traced its meandering path into the Crazy Mountains, a chain in south-central Montana that’s part of the northern Rockies. Like many of the trails and roads that lead into U.S. Forest Service land, Trail 267 twists in and out of private properties. These sorts of paths have been used as access points for decades, but “No Trespassing” signs are popping up on them with increasing frequency, along with visitors’ logs in which hikers, hunters, and Forest Service workers are instructed to sign their names, tacitly acknowledging that the trail is private and that permission for its use was granted at the private landowners’ discretion.

Wilson hates the signs and the logbooks, interpreting them as underhanded attempts by a handful of ranchers to dictate who gets to enter federal property adjacent to their own. Several of the owners operate commercial hunting businesses or rental cabins; by controlling the points of ingress to public wilderness, Wilson says, they could effectively turn tens of thousands of acres of federal land into extensions of their own ranches. That would allow them to charge thousands of dollars per day for exclusive access, while turning away anyone—hikers, anglers, bikers, hunters, locals like Wilson, or even forest rangers—who didn’t strike a deal.

Wilson, 63, is out on the trail to show me how the paths weave through private plots before reaching a destination he loves, and to show me why he loves it: The pebbled trout streams are crystalline, the elk run rampant, and painterly snowcaps break the big sky. The ranches along the way are pretty great, too, the kind of real estate that inspires—and, if acquired, perhaps even satisfies—the hunger a lot of people feel for scenic refuge. Many of the landholders are newcomers from out of state, though some old-timers remain—families that earned their deeds generations ago, the principal paid by ancestors who shivered through pitiless winters in tar-paper shacks. Wilson has been hiking and hunting the Crazies since he was a little kid, but only in the past year or so, he says, have the private ranchers seemed more like obstacles than neighbors. “They could shut down pretty much the whole interior of the Crazy Mountains, as far as I can see,” he says.    Read the rest of this article HERE.

Listen to the archived show: Investigative journalist Carey Gillam, author of “Whitewash,” on glyphosate (Monsanto’s Roundup) that is found in the air, water, soil and our bodies

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Join us for Wild Horse Wednesdays®, for a special show on Friday morning, Nov. 17, 2017

Listen to the archived show (HERE!)

This show will be archived so you can listen to it anytime.

Our guest is Carey Gillam, an investigative journalist, a former senior correspondent for Reuters’ international news service, a Research Director for U.S. Right to Know (a consumer group whose mission is: “Pursuing Truth and Transparency in America’s Food System”), a Board Member of Justice Pesticides and a contributor to Huffington Post.

In Whitewash, Carey Gillam uncovers one of the most controversial stories in the history of food and agriculture, exposing new evidence of corporate influence. Gillam introduces readers to farm families devastated by cancers which they believe are caused by the chemical, and to scientists whose reputations have been smeared for publishing research that contradicted business interests. Readers learn about the arm-twisting of regulators who signed off on the chemical, echoing company assurances of safety even as they permitted higher residues of the pesticide in food and skipped compliance tests. Gillam reveals secret industry communications that pull back the curtain on corporate efforts to manipulate public perception.

Whitewash is more than an exposé about the hazards of one chemical or even the influence of one company. It’s a story of power, politics, and the deadly consequences of putting corporate interests ahead of public safety.

Carey Gillam’s website is careygillam.com

This show will be hosted by Debbie Coffey (V.P. and Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs) of Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

To contact us: ppj1@hush.com

TO LISTEN TO ALL ARCHIVED WILD HORSE & BURRO RADIO SHOWS, CLICK HERE.

To find out more about Wild Horse Freedom Federation and our work to keep wild horses and burros wild and free on our public lands visit www.WildHorseFreedomFederation.org

Donate Here: http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/donate/

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George Wuerthner, (Exec. Dir. of Public Lands Media, V.P. on BoD of Western Watersheds Project & author) to talk about the impacts of the livestock industry on the West (Wed., 11/1/17 on Wild Horse & Burro Radio)

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Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoJoin us for Wild Horse Wednesdays®, this Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017

5:00 p.m. PST … 6:00 p.m. MST … 7:00 p.m. CST … 8:00 p.m. EST

Listen to the archived show (HERE!)

You can also listen to the show on your phone by calling (917) 388-4520.

You can call in with questions during the 2nd half hour, by dialing (917) 388-4520, then pressing 1.

This show will be archived so you can listen to it anytime.

Our guest tonight is GEORGE WUERTHNER, the Exec. Director of Public Lands Media (a project of the Earth Island Institute), Vice President on the Board of Directors for Western Watersheds Project and the author of 38 books.  George will be talking about the multiple ways that the livestock industry impacts the West, from water use, to sage grouse, to bison being shot in Yellowstone and to the killing of predators like grizzlies and wolves.

George’s books include Welfare Ranching: The Subsidized Destruction Of The American West, Wildfire: A Century of Failed Forest Policy, Energy: Overdevelopment and the Delusion of Endless Growth, Thrillcraft: The Environmental Consequences of Motorized Recreation, Keeping the Wild: Against the Domestication of Earth, and Protecting the Wild: Parks and Wilderness, the Foundation for Conservation.

Most recently, George was the Ecological Projects Director/Senior Scientist for the Foundation for Deep Ecology and Tompkins Conservation for 12 years. Previous to this position, George taught ecology courses and environmental writing as adjunct lecturer at a number of universities, worked as botanist/backcountry ranger, river ranger, biologist and forestry technician for various federal agencies, including the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service and the Forest Service, and was a wilderness guide in Alaska and Yellowstone National Park. George studied Zoology/Wildlife Biology/Botany at the University of Montana, and for graduate school, studied Range Science at Montana State University, Science Communication at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Geography at the University of Oregon.

This show will be hosted by Debbie Coffey (V.P. and Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs) of Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

To contact us: ppj1@hush.com

TO LISTEN TO ALL ARCHIVED WILD HORSE & BURRO RADIO SHOWS, CLICK HERE.

To find out more about Wild Horse Freedom Federation and our work to keep wild horses and burros wild and free on our public lands visit www.WildHorseFreedomFederation.org

Donate Here: http://wildhorsefreedomfederation.org/donate/

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Mike Hudak’s video “Ranching’s Other Victims: Free-living animals”

The video below by Mike Hudak was done in 2010, but it still applies today and is worth watching.  We also recommend you go to mikehudak.com  and read his book, “Western Turf Wars.”

What does Zinke have in common with the Queen?

SOURCE:  The Washington Post

“We’re talking about Cabinet members and federal buildings, not the Queen of England and Buckingham Palace,” said Chris Lu, deputy Labor secretary in the Barack Obama administration, referring to the British tradition of announcing the queen’s presence by raising her personal heraldic flag.”

The flag of the Interior Department’s deputy secretary, bottom, flew last week above the headquarters building in downtown Washington. (Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

Where’s Zinke?  The Interior Secretary’s flag offers clues

At the Interior Department’s headquarters in downtown Washington, Secretary Ryan Zinke has revived an arcane military ritual that no one can remember ever happening in the federal government.

A security staffer takes the elevator to the seventh floor, climbs the stairs to the roof and hoists a special secretarial flag whenever Zinke enters the building.  When the secretary goes home for the day or travels, the flag — a blue banner emblazoned with the agency’s bison seal flanked by seven white stars representing the Interior bureaus — comes down.

In Zinke’s absence, the ritual is repeated to raise an equally obscure flag for Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke commissioned commemorative coins with his name on them to give to staff and visitors. (Obtained by The Washington Post)

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE HERE.

 

Feel Good Sunday: Horses are Hilarious

“It’s Sunday and time for a chuckle.  This compilation is a long one, filled with commercials that you can bypass but well worth the watch.  If you are lucky enough to live with horses you have seen each and every one of these antics but I will caution, on the safety side, letting your horse hang his or head out of a moving trailer is never a good idea nor is allowing a horse to rear and cavort next to a T-Post fence with no post end covers…all bad.  With that being said, have a chuckle, enjoy, relax and we will get back after the battle in the morning.  Be safe my friends.” ~ R.T.


Sam Jojola, former Deputy Resident Agent-in-Charge for U.S. Fish and Wildlife (USFWS) Office of Law Enforcement, on wildlife trafficking, trophy hunting, Safari Club International, poisoning of birds by the mining industry and kill permits for the wind energy industry (Wild Horse & Burro Radio, Wed., 10/4/17)

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Wild_Horse_Burro_Radio_LogoJoin us on Wild Horse Wednesdays®, this Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017

5:00 p.m. PST … 6:00 p.m. MST … 7:00 p.m. CST … 8:00 p.m. EST

Listen to the archived show (HERE!)

You can also listen to the show on your phone by calling (917) 388-4520.

You can call in with questions during the 2nd half hour, by dialing (917) 388-4520, then pressing 1.

This show will be archived so you can listen to it anytime.

Sam Jojola with a Major Mitchell’s cockatoo and its babies (in the ’90s)

Our guest tonight is Sam Jojola, a former Deputy Resident Agent-in-Charge for U.S. Fish and Wildlife (USFWS) Office of Law Enforcement in the Los Angeles area from 2006 to 2008. Sam will be talking about the USDA’s Wildlife Services’ killing of animals, wildlife trafficking, trophy hunting, Safari Club International, the poisoning of birds by the mining industry, kill permits for the wind energy industry, and more.

Sam had over 24 years in federal wildlife law enforcement experience with emphasis in long term covert operations. He worked deep covert operations for 6 years in the legacy USFWS Branch of Special Operations, targeting international wildlife smugglers. From 2003 t0 2006, he worked in San Francisco with the FBI, IRS and ICE on a fascinating task force investigation involving money laundering, tax evasion, trademark infringement and ivory trafficking. In 1994, Sam assisted the Secret Service in a covert capacity to uncover a counterfeiting network in Las Vegas. Sam was also a volunteer Air Marshal following 9/11 for 6 months. Sam’s prior experience includes work as a Correctional Officer in a state penitentiary and as a U.S. Army Light Weapons NCO. Sam is now writing articles for the PPJ Gazette.

This show will be hosted by Debbie Coffey (V.P. and Dir. of Wild Horse Affairs) of Wild Horse Freedom Federation.

To contact us: ppj1@hush.com

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/marti-oakley/2017/10/05/ts-radio-wild-horse-and-burro-radio-sam-jojola-former-agent-usfws

TO LISTEN TO ALL ARCHIVED WILD HORSE & BURRO RADIO SHOWS, CLICK HERE. Continue reading

Zinke’s Secret Burdens Report No Doubt Focused on Oil & Gas Giveaways

by as published on Western Values Project

Another report created behind closed doors for special interests not available to the public

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke’s report to the White House that focused on supposed burdens to public lands energy development was due September 24th. Now, with both the Department of the Interior (DOI) and the White House silent, the public cannot confirm whether the report was submitted at all.

The report, required by President Trump’s “American Energy Independence” executive order from March, was due to the White House on Sunday and has not been made public by the DOI or the White House. It is widely expected that this report will eliminate key protections for western public lands and waters, sweeten an already great deal for industry at the expense of American taxpayers, and prevent the public from having a say in where and how development takes place.

Chris Saeger, Director of the Western Values Project, issued the following statement: 

Since being appointed to manage the nation’s public lands, Secretary Zinke has been giving back to special interests in the oil and gas industry at the expense of all other public lands users, like hunters and anglers. After recommending the largest reduction of protected wildlife habitat in U.S. history, which could benefit a few oil, gas and mining corporations, and pushing irresponsible development in sagebrush country, we have no doubt that this report is another giveaway to the industry that backed Zinke’s political ascension. In an administration that favors special interests over public lands users, it’s no surprise that the American public has been kept out of the conversation.”

Analysis by the Western Values Project in the Rigged series found that industry is already given preferential treatment to develop public lands. Even the oil and gas industry is concerned by the unchecked regulatory rollback, asking the administration to ‘pump the brakes,’ fearing one BP type catastrophe could be disastrous.

Background:

The outdoor recreation industry is one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the country, generating $887 billion in consumer spending each year and support 7.6 million jobs. Thus far, not one representative from the outdoor recreation industry has been appointed to a position at Interior.

Oil and gas development is already the dominant use of America’s public lands, with leasing already allowed on 90 percent of public lands in the west. Over the past few months, Secretary Zinke’s Bureau of Land Management announced a series of oil and gas leases bordering or close to some national parks and national monuments.

In scrapping the collaborative sage-grouse plans adopted in 2015 with bi-partisan support, Secretary Zinke took nearly every recommendation requested by the oil and gas industry and ignored input from Western Governors. Sagebrush country supports over one billion dollars in recreation-related economic activity.

Taxpayers are subsidizing the development of oil and gas on public lands as industry exploits loopholes for extravagant corporate profits and CEO pay while Western state budgets languish.

The biggest burden oil and gas development faces on public lands are market prices, not common-sense regulations that protect hunting, fishing, habitat, wildlife, water, other users and taxpayers.

http://westernvaluesproject.org/zinkes-secret-burdens-report-no-doubt-focused-on-oil-gas-giveaways/

Feel Good Sunday: Photobombed by Horses

by R.T. Fitch

“Last week a reader dressed me down, just a bit, for deviating off the course of equine advocacy with our traditional “Feel Good Sundays” and a part of me is in full agreement, BUT we will continue to attempt to bring a smile to your lips and an uplift to your heart on this day of rest.  Granted, we may slam an article of concern down on the table later in the day but at least we can start the day with a little bit of equine sunshine.  Have faith and please be safe, my friends.” ~ R.T.


If you are fortunate enough to live with horses and donkeys, or at least visit them often, you are well aware of the multiple and different personalities that each of them poses.  Every one of them is as unique as a snowflake and twice as special and with that singularity often runs a strain of comedy, every pasture has a class comedian or village idiot; that’s what makes life so very special.

Just a few quick glimpses to share with you, today, to reinforce the opinion that when it comes to horses a comedy show is not far behind.

“CHEESE”

 

First up is a young woman who thought she was taking a happy picture standing in front of her horse when just as the shutter clicked, or iPhone, the horse broke out into his own happy smile that, if you look closely, appears to match that of his human buddy.  Remarkable.

 

“SMILE”

 

 

 

Another one of my personal favorites is a big ole Drafty who decides to add a little extra to a family photo taken of a little girl who is standing in front of him.  As a guardian of a big ole Belgian/TB cross I can tell you that there is a funny, and gentle, gene that resides in their great big, giant hearts.  One of the most remarkable things I have observed about horses is how they react and become so very gentle around human children.  It is stunning.

 

 

A camera is a sure fire way to ensure that the “Hey, look at ME!” syndrome is quickly awakened in any equine as comically demonstrated in the video below.

And in conclusion, I offer firm evidence that I know of what I speak as Terry and I were continually interrupted by one of our equine children as we attempted to tape an outreach segment, at our home, for Wild Horse Freedom Federation.  I share this video with a heavy heart as the antagonist is our Harley, a former racing TB who suffered a slab fracture to his left front knee and was on his way to the Kaufman, TX slaughterhouse until his owner intervened and entrusted us to give him a new life.  We did just that for almost 20 years until his bad TB feet could no longer bear him.  Drugs, abuse and greed surround horse racing but I digress.  He gave us years of wonderful companionship and comic relief because he always was the big “Sh*tstirrer” in the pasture.  We all miss him greatly.

This video is long but Harley owns the beginning and he most certainly is in charge of the finish.  Thank you Harley.

Zinke’s Plan to Slaughter Wild Horses and Burros Now Expanded to Sage Grouse and Beyond

Unedited Story from Western Values Project

Secretary Zinke’s proposed changes would be devastating, it would harm the $1 billion outdoor recreation economy on sage-grouse habitat and endanger not just the sage-grouse, but the other iconic species like mule deer, elk, and pronghorn that depend on a health sagebrush ecosystem.

Two years ago today, history was made when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that the greater sage-grouse did not warrant a listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) due to the finalization of strong, science-based Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) land management plans.

Those plans were the product of collaboration amongst stakeholders including ranchers, governors, conservationists, sportsmen and sportswomen, local elected officials, and industry officials. They were a promise to work together in keeping with the tradition of working the land, by maintaining responsible and sustainable methods to keep the sage-grouse from needing a listing under the Endangered Species Act.

Two years later, the future of the plans is now unknown. In an attempt to dismantle the plans, Secretary Ryan Zinke and the Department of the Interior (DOI) have decided that the West does not know what’s best and therefore have intervened to inject their own agenda is these already established plans. Their agenda pushes the interests of the oil and gas industry, and a few select members of Congress who are determined to have energy development dominate our public lands.

Secretary Zinke’s proposed changes would be devastating, it would harm the $1 billion outdoor recreation economy on sage-grouse habitat and endanger not just the sage-grouse, but the other iconic species like mule deer, elk, and pronghorn that depend on a health sagebrush ecosystem.

Instead of ignoring years of hard work and collaboration, Secretary Zinke should recognize the stakeholders who worked for years on these plans, not ignore them in favor of oil and gas lobbyists. Rehashing existing plans and starting from zero is another half ditch attempt by Washington to overstep its bounds. Secretary Zinke and DOI are even ignoring the advice of western wildlife managers and scientist, who have made clear that the plans do not need major changes.

But Secretary Zinke is only focused on serving himself and corporate special interests.

As Westerners celebrate this two-year anniversary, their message to Secretary Zinke is loud and clear: stop attempting to destroy years of hard work, instead support the plans.

http://westernvaluesproject.org/two-years-in-zinke-scraps-sage-grouse-plans-for-special-interests/